Finance deals round-up

DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary (John Cutler, Richard Mann, Alex Dumphy) advised Barclays Leveraged Finance on the £75m debt funding of the secondary buyout of Tragus Group, owner of the Café Rouge and Bella Italia restaurant chains, among others.

Clifford Chance (William Glaister, Rod Howell) advised BNP Paribas, Royal Bank of Scotland and Morgan Stanley as joint bookrunners of Iberia’s third European Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificate (E-EETC) Iberbond programme. Twenty Airbus aircraft will be financed under the $650m (£346.6m) programme, which consists of two senior equal-ranking tranches, one dollar-denominated and the other euro-denominated, and each rated AAA by Fitch and Aa2 by Moody’s. It was the first E-EETC-style financing without a monoline insurance provider since 11 September 2001. The aircraft will be leased under a combination of Japanese operating leases and finance leases.

Allen & Overy (A&O) (David Smith, Carine Chassol, Mathieu Vignon) advised the Export-Import Bank of Korea (K-Exim) on the $676m (£360.5m) financing of the construction of eight container ships for container shipping line CMA-CGM. Mandated lead arranger Calyon was advised by Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe’s Paris office (Alain Gautron, Jean-Marc Zampa, Frederic Guilloux).
Linklaters (Duncan Barber, Victoria Sander, Jim Rice, Jonathan Martin, Mike Hardwick) advised Ambac Assurance as financial guarantor on a
£380m securitisation by Friends Provident Life and Pensions of a book of life insurance policies. The deal was the second embedded value securitisation in the UK life sector in the last two years.

A Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer team led by Stephen McGairl has been appointed legal adviser to the €4.4bn (£3.06bn) gas pipeline running 3,400km from Turkey to Austria. The Nabucco project is a joint venture between Botaas, Bulgargaz, Transgaz, MOL and OMV. The financial adviser is ABN Amro.

Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw (MBR&M) (Ralf Hesdahl, Ingo Kleutgens, Stuart Litwin) has advised a syndicate of banks led by ABN Amro on the securitisation of €1.25bn (£870m) worth of German auto loan receivables originated by Volkswagen Bank through the German-based securitisation special purpose vehicle Driver One GmbH – the first German true sale initiative deal.